Chartered Housing, a Bangalore based company involved in constructing residential and commercial buildings, besides real estate business is implementing ERP to integrate business processes, evaluate performance of human resources, and connect the head office with its site offices.

Professor K. Balakrishnan, consultant to Chartered Housing and a member of its core evaluation and decision making team informed, "Sonata Software is implementing the ERP solutions at our head office in Bangalore. We had also evaluated SAP, Oracle and few smaller players for the same project."

He stated, "Factors such as the solution being customized according to peculiar needs of the construction industry, it is an overlay on Microsoft Dynamics ax 4.0, (our entire processes including projects are functional on a Microsoft platform), the solution has been implemented by other construction companies here, tilted the scale towards Sonata. Price of course was yet another reason. The work order was signed late February."

Balakrishnan said that the ERP would integrate data into the servers at the company's head office. "We have a road map for expansion over the next five years, and this solution fits the bill to the T."

PVSN Raju, VP Sonata, elaborated that the company has customized a customer portal over Dynamics ax 4.0 for Chartered. The portal caters to the needs of billing and payments, besides communicate specific needs and requirements of customers.

Expected to go live by June end, the ERP implementation would replace the legacy system at Chartered. The construction company wanted Sonata to integrate all its business processes including finance, sales and sales account, material management, etc. "At present, most of its processes run on smaller applications. We would replace or integrate those."

On the special solutions customized for the ERP industry, Sonata has developed utilities for data migration. It will do the cleansing and push back for Chartered on Microsoft Dynamics ax 4.0.

It has also build reusable components for land acquisition, flat availability reports
property master (inventory master), bill of quantity, brokerage commission- functionalities like estimation at various stages like apartment complex, building blocks, and planning.

These are developed on practices used by the industry, claimed Raju.

Sonata would help help Chartered with its CRM process right from the point of project launch, pre-launch publicity, people who visited the site, people who contacted the sales people at site offices, brochure design, etc. It would also keep a track on the project stages, he informed.

According to Sushant Dwivedy, Business Group Lead at Microsoft Dynamics, "ERP builds a lot of structured data. With Dynamics, it is easier to utilize and analyse data for faster decisions."

He concluded, "The requirements of the construction industry are different from the rest. It is based on a sub contractor system. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate all incremental processes into a single platform. Dynamics ax 4.0 besides the ERP functionality allows applications to function in a bespoke model."

Soucre: Mumbai, Mar 16, 2007, Contributed by Sonal Desai